If you're reading this, we expect you're either bringing a newcomer into the wine world, or looking to embark on your own journey into wine. Either way, we're envious! Getting to know the intricacies of this fabulous drink has been one of the great pleasures of everyone on The English Vine team.

But we know that whilst the world of wine is an exciting one, it can also be overwhelming. Even seasoned wine drinkers can be perplexed by the ins and outs of the wine aisle! With so many types and styles of wine available, where do you start?

In this article, we'll explore the qualities that make a wine suitable for beginners, give advice on finding wines you love, and offer a range of our very own beginner-friendly English wines (which you can order straight to your door!). If you're unfamiliar with the notion of English wine, never fear. Some of the best wines in the world hail from English vineyards, with many easy-drinking options perfect for beginners. Let's get started.

What to look for in a beginner wine

We're not in the business of telling you what you will and won't like. But when it comes to selecting a wine for someone who has never tried one - or hasn't yet found one they like - there are a few qualities you can look for to help ease them in.

Sweetness

Beginners tend to prefer a sweet, fruity taste in their wines. That doesn't necessarily mean sugary sweet - in fact, sweet dessert wines might be a bit much for a beginner. But a wine with a balanced sweetness is likely to be more enjoyable for wine newbies than something very bitter or dry. To find sweet wines for beginners, look out for terms such as 'off-dry', 'semi-sweet' and 'medium-sweet'.

Body

As well as a sweet wine, beginner wine drinkers may favour a wine with a lighter body. What does this mean exactly? Put simply, body refers to how rich and heavy a wine feels on your palate. A full-bodied wine will generally have more alcohol, less acidity and more tannins, which create a dry, astringent flavour. Light-bodied wines, on the other hand, have less alcohol, reduced tannin, less colour and more acidity, resulting in a smoother taste.

Flavour and aromatics

Finally, beginner wine drinkers may appreciate wine with an aroma that isn't too complex or overwhelming - though we encourage you to experiment! Fruit-forward wine is a good bet, so look for labels that describe fruity and floral notes, as opposed to rich woody ones.

The best red wine for beginners

If you've tried wine before and didn't like it, chances are it was a full-bodied red wine that scared you off! Reds might look a little intimidating, but there are plenty of lighter, easy-drinking red wines out there that are both delicious and easier on the palate. Pinot Noir is a popular choice for easy-drinking red wine - and we've got just the thing.

Shotley Pinot Noir

This Pinot Noir from Suffolk is light-bodied and smooth - the perfect introduction to red wine. It's fruity, with aromas of ripe cherries and blackcurrant, and it pairs nicely with cured meats, cheese and game. Although red wine is usually drunk at room temperature, this one is delicious chilled to 16¬ļC.

Stanlake Park The Reserve

This English red wine is fairly dry - but don't let that put you off if you're new to wine. With a delicate bouquet of ripe black cherry, blackberry and Mediterranean herbs, this easy-drinking wine is beautifully smooth. It's also vegan!

Whitehall Pinot Noir

This is another light, fruity red wine that's perfect for beginners. As well as juicy fruit flavours of ripe red raspberries and cherries, this wine has creamy vanilla notes from being aged in oak barrels. Bronze winner of the 2021 WineGB Awards.

The best white wine for beginners

Because white wines are generally sweeter than reds and have fewer tannins, they're often preferred by people new to wine. Sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio are two popular varieties favoured by beginners - though we happen to prefer these three easy-drinking English whites:

Number 1

We made this one! Our multi-award-winning white is delicious served ice cold. It's made from Bacchus grapes - a variety often described as England's answer to Sauvignon Blanc. Super easy to drink, and perfect for any situation.

Meophams Whitehill

This fruity white wine is fresh and crisp, with apple-y aromas and ripe pear on the palate. It starts off mellow, and then more flavours are revealed the more you drink. A great introduction to white wine flavours!

Shotley Bacchus

An exceptionally refreshing white from Suffolk that goes down a little too easily! It's floral, fruity and acidic - think elderflower, gooseberry and lime. This wine pairs beautifully with chicken or seafood.

The best rosé wine for beginners

The genre of rosé wine can vary hugely. But like white wines, rosés tend to be sweeter and lower in tannins than reds, making many of them ideal wines for beginners. Plus, who doesn't love a pink drink? Here are some of our English easy-drinking faves:

Chapel Down Rosé

A sunny day in a bottle! Specifically produced to appeal to a broad range of palates, this delicate rosé brings aromas of strawberries and cream. It's ideal for beginners thanks to its drinkability. And did you know? Chapel Down is the official supplier of No. 10 Downing Street!

Toppesfield Rosé

This dry, Provençal-style rosé hails from Essex, bringing hints of English strawberries and citrus. It has won multiple awards, and is highly drinkable on a warm summer's day - with or without food. It goes great with barbecue food or a bowl of strawberries.

The best sparkling wine for beginners

Did you know? English sparkling wine is globally recognised, and the UK is now a leading producer of high-quality fizz. In fact, experts place many English sparkling wines on par with Champagnes! Here are a couple of our easy-drinking fizzy favourites that bring a sense of occasion:

Fitz Sparkling Brut

Most English sparkling wines mirror the Champagne style of yeast fermentation, which produces a dry, biscuity flavour. Fitz decided to break the mould with their Sparkling Brut, using a different method to create something more fruit-forward and easy-drinking. The result is a highly approachable sparkling wine that won't break the bank - ideal for beginner drinkers and wine lovers alike.

Kingscote Sparkling Rosé

Pink and fizzy - what's not to like? If you like the idea of a fresh, acidic and fruity wine, this sparkling rosé could be just the thing. This Sussex-made wine is a team favourite, layering ripened red berry notes with delicate elderflower and ripe gooseberry. Easy to drink, feels special and costs under £20!

The best cheap wine for beginners

Wine can get outrageously expensive, and it stands to reason that new wine drinkers won't want to spend big bucks on something they're not sure they'll like. But if you want a proper introduction to the good stuff, you might need to look beyond the value category! Luckily, two of our favourite beginner-friendly wines are also some of our most affordable: our very own Number 1 (£15.99), and our ever-popular Chapel Down Rosé (£16.49).

Finding wines you love

Remember: there's no one-size-fits-all best wine for beginners - because everyone is different! To get the most out of your wine journey, be honest with yourself about what you like and don't like. You might read a lot about what wine should be paired with what food, what temperature it's best at, what's good and what's bad. Our advice? Try everything, and don't be afraid to break the rules!

Curious about English wine? Order fantastic English wines straight to your door with The English Vine - browse our shop here. Want to start your wine journey with a wine-tasting session? Take a look at our mixed cases here. Got questions about beginner wines, or the ones we've listed in this article? Don't hesitate to get in touch.

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